News Calling all teetotallers: Australia’s first booze-free bar is here

Calling all teetotallers: Australia’s first booze-free bar is here

Australia's first alcohol-free bar will open in Brunswick within months.
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Calling all teetotallers, abstainers and sober sallys.

Ever found yourself wanting to enjoy the atmosphere of a bar without the alcoholic drinks that come with it?

Well, the beverage barons have heard your cries for somewhere to quench your booze-free thirst after a hard day’s work.

Australia’s first permanent dry watering hole is on its way to prioritise non-drinkers and help normalise drinking in moderation.

Set to open in April, the 150-person capacity venue in Brunswick East, Melbourne, will be the first of its kind in Australia.

There won’t be a drop of booze in sight.

Its opening plays into the rise and rise of the “sober curious” – people who are flirting with drinking in moderation, or not drinking at all.

Whether it’s for physical or mental health reasons, or just because, more and more Australians are choosing soda water over scotch and soda.

Although Australians saw a spike in their drinking habits over 2020, largely due to boredom in lockdown, overall our consumption has steadily declined since the mid-2000s.

And young people are leading the way. Over the past decade, younger legal-age drinkers are drinking more responsibly than ever.

The last National Drug Strategy Household Survey from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed 21 per cent of Australians were abstaining from booze, most of them young people.

The report said: “In 2019, the proportion of people aged 18 and over abstaining from alcohol increased, from 19.5 per cent to 21 per cent.

“Younger age groups drove this increase, in particular those aged 25 to 29 (from 19.0 per cent in 2016 to 24 per cent in 2019) and 30 to 39 (16.6 per cent to 22 per cent).”

An interior mockup of how the bar will look.

CEO and co-founder of Brunswick Aces Distillery Stephen Lawrence, said his company had seen a huge demand for its products – the next logical step to making the product was building somewhere to serve it.

“We’re turning the traditional bar on its head,” Mr Lawrence said.

“The time is right for an offering that puts those choosing not to drink first. We want to lead the charge by opening the Brunswick Aces Bar and deliver delicious non-alcoholic choices that don’t compromise on taste.”

Every section of the drinks menu will be designed to cater for non-drinkers, from beers and wines, to the distillery’s signature 0 per cent alcohol gin alternative, Brunswick Aces Spades Sapiir and Brunswick Aces Hearts Sapiir.

The menu will also feature a host of sober takes on classic cocktails, like the Negroni, Espresso Martini and the simple G&T, as well as a range of beers and wines from around the world.